Remembering and learning from Boston

Go Lean Commentary

Boston BombingApril 15, is the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. 3 people died directly, and countless others were maimed and injured. From any perspective this was a tragedy! To the families that lost loved ones on that date, our deepest condolences.

There are many lessons for the Caribbean to learn from this experience.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This CU is proffered to provide economic, security and governing solutions for the 30 member Caribbean states. This book posits that the Caribbean is not immune to similar experiences like Boston; that terrorism requires mitigation beyond the member-states; there needs to be a regional solution. The CU will furnish such a focus. There will be proactive and reactive measures to monitor, interdict, and marshal terroristic threats in the Caribbean. Most of the Caribbean has legacy affiliation with European/US countries that have been victims of terrorism. Though we have not had the tragedies of backpacks exploding at marathons, or chemical weapons used in subways, or airplanes crashing into our buildings, we must still hold a constant vigilance. The roadmap posits that “bad actors” always emerge where there is economic successes.  See a related news article here:

Title: Year after Boston bombing, it’s clear that threat of homegrown terrorism overhyped
By: David Schanzer and Charles Kurzman

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing one year ago Tuesday, many commentators and public officials called this tragedy a harbinger of more homegrown terrorist attacks to come.

“We’re going to see an explosion in this radicalization and recruitment,” predicted Congressman Frank Wolf. “We are less secure than we were 12 years ago,” claimed think-tank terrorism expert Michael Swetnam. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told Americans to “worry – a lot.

”To many, the Boston attack demonstrated the potency of the Islamist extremist ideology, the difficulty of detecting individuals radicalized through social media and the Internet, and the ease with which amateurs could cause massive harm in our open society. The Tsarnaev brothers, they claimed, had paved the way for more terrorism.

While only one year has passed, much of this concern appears to have been hyperbole.

No one has been killed by homegrown terrorists in the past year, and there have been no copycat attacks. To put this in context, over the same period there have been 14,000 murders in the United States, including 46 murders in Boston.

There also has been no epidemic of al-Qaida-inspired extremist behavior directed at American civilians. Our research shows that in the year since the marathon bombing, there have been 15 arrests of Muslim-Americans for terrorism-related offenses, below the average of 20 arrests per year since 9/11. Almost all of these arrests were for attempting to join a foreign terrorist organization abroad, not for planning attacks in the homeland, and were motivated by sympathies with rebels in Syria and elsewhere rather than by al-Qaida’s call for Muslims to attack the West.

Our law enforcement agencies have a far more balanced understanding of the nature of the extremist threat than many of those providing public commentary after the Boston attacks. A nationwide survey of law enforcement agencies we are conducting in collaboration with the Police Executive Research Forum shows that more than half of the agencies report little or no threat from al-Qaida-inspired extremism. Only 2 percent report the threat as “severe.” Agencies from large metropolitan areas reported somewhat higher levels of concern (27 percent reporting a low threat and 7 percent reporting a severe threat). Overall, law enforcement agencies are treating this as a serious, but manageable, issue rather than the existential crisis that many have feared.

Law enforcement agencies have embraced community outreach as an effective strategy to counter violent extremism. Almost every large metropolitan police force surveyed collaborates with Muslim-American communities that are targeted for recruitment by al-Qaida and related extremists. Most of these agencies report they have established a high level of trust with the community, and two-thirds say these relationships have helped develop actionable information. This track record contradicts claims by Congressman Peter King, a New York Republican, and others that Muslim-Americans have failed to cooperate with law enforcement.

One year after two individuals inflicted pain and suffering on the streets of Boston, we should not be overly fearful or cavalier about the threat of violent extremism. The low levels of violent conduct both before and after the Boston Marathon show that no matter how many extremist videos are posted on the Internet, the baseless ideas these videos propagate appeal to only a tiny fraction of our populace. Yet, since small numbers of people can do so much harm, law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve must be constantly vigilant and continue to work together to prevent the next atrocity.

David Schanzer is a Professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Charles Kurzman is a Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Source: News Observer Newspaper – a Raleigh, North Carolina Daily – Retrieved 04/15/2014 from:

How can we apply lessons from this foregoing article in the stewardship of the Caribbean Homeland Security?

We have the direct lessons of the scourge of piracy in the Caribbean for centuries. The “after-effects” of this legacy still remain, even today. As Caribbean society traversed over the centuries, the attitudes that tolerated piracy, described in the book as “community ethos”, evolved to tolerate, incubate and even promote other lawless activities; (shipwrecking, bootlegging, drug smuggling). So with this history in mind, and the prime directive to elevate Caribbean society, the Go Lean economic empowerment mission is coupled with appropriate security provisions. This mandate is detailed early on in the book’s Declaration of Interdependence, with the following pronouncements (Page 12):

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety. The Federation must allow for facilitations of detention for convicted felons of federal crimes, and should over-build prisons to house trustees from other jurisdictions.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

Gun ComicThere are many other lessons for us to learn from Boston. But there are other tragedies that appear to have gotten less attention in the past year since the marathon bombings. In Boston alone, there have been 46 murders since April 15, 2013. In total, there have been 14,000+ murders in the entire Unites States in that time. See the foregoing news article/commentary.

These have not gone unnoticed! Especially terrorism’s junior partner-in-crime, bullying; such incidents also call for mitigations.

The Go Lean roadmap therefore comes BIG, in its offering to effectuate change in the Caribbean. Notice these strategies, tactics, implementations, and advocacies detailed in the book related to Caribbean security:

10 Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
10 Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
10 Security Initiatives at Start-up Page 103
10 Ways to Impact Justice Page 177
10 Ways to Reduce Crime Page 178
10 Ways to Improve for Gun Control Page 179
10 Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180
10 Ways to Mitigate Terrorism Page 181
10 Ways to Improve Intelligence [Gathering] Page 182
10 Ways to Improve Animal Husbandry Page 185
10 Ways to Impact the Prison-Industrial Complex Page 211
10 Ways to Impact Youth Page 227

Further, the Go Lean roadmap portrays the need for public messaging to encourage adoption of better community ethos for the Greater Good (Page 37). We must not allow those innocent lives in Boston to pass without positive lessons for our society.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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